Times of hearings discourage public input

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Dear Editor:

I would like to respond to your editorial in the Jan. 10 edition regarding citizens being more involved in county and local issues. It seems to me that the editor has overlooked the obvious.

The primary reason, in my opinion, that people do not attend county meetings or public hearings is that they are held at 9 or 10 a.m. during the week when most people are required to work. Unfortunately, most of us are required to work more than six hours per week and those hours tend to be Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Local and district officials understand, this, having to work full-time jobs themselves, and schedule meetings in the evening so that working people can attend.

If the county commissioners were truly concerned about public opinion or input, they would hold their meetings in the evening. As a citizen of Barry County, I have always felt that the scheduling of these meetings is done to discourage public input not encourage it. Until this policy is changed, I guess we will have to take the commissioners and your word for the fact that they are good stewards of the taxpayers dollar.


Georgia Wennell

Butterfield, Missouri